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Getting Started with Correspondence

If you are responsible for responding to constituent correspondence, there are a number of helpful articles described below. 

The Basics:

  1. Navigating the Program - Select Mail from the top navigation menu to see constituent correspondence. New mail submitted through the contact form on the website will be converted into activities and sent to Inbox. Any mail assigned to you will be in My Mail. All open mail can be found in All Mail.
  2. Sorting New Email in the Inbox - Mail in the Inbox is "unopened." You'll sort through the mail, assign it to the right staff member, and mark it as "open."
  3. Importing Scanned Mail - Hard copy correspondence can be imported for easy viewing. You will sort and assign the mail and then create activities.
  4. Coding Mail and Assigning It to a Staff Member - You are able to work with large groups of correspondence at one time by using Interest and Group Codes and assigning them to a staff member to write a response letter.
  5. Writing and Editing Form Letters - Form letters can be added to the Letters module so that you can use them again and again.
  6. Assigning a Form Letter Response - Once a form letter has been finalized, you can easily find the activities with the same Group Code and assign them all the form letter response at one time. 
  7. Printing or Emailing Large Amounts of Correspondence - Once a response letter has been assigned to a group of activities, you will create a print or email job and send all items ready to transmit to that job.
  8. Searching for Contacts - You need to locate contacts in order to create new correspondence for them, to view their correspondence history, or update their records.
  9. Adding New Contacts - If a contact is not in the system, you are able to add new contacts in almost every module. 
  10. Working with Contacts - When working with a contact, you can do a number of things including updating contact information, linking a contact to an organization, viewing history, and creating new records.  
  11. Creating New Correspondence Activities - You can manually create activities to log interactions such as polling postcards, phone calls, walk-in visits, or petitions.
  12. Writing a Quick Letter for One Contact  - Unlike a form letter, a quick letter is a letter written or edited for one contact. 

Beyond the Basics:

  1. Customizing Your Layout -  If there are certain key pieces of information you want to see when looking at your list of mail, you might want to consider customizing your layout to add, remove, or rearrange columns. You can also save sort order and groupings.
  2. Setting up Filtered Folders and Saved Searches for Mail - You can set up filtered folders in Mail to quickly locate open correspondence activities. Saved searches can be created in both Mail and Contacts.
  3. Searching for Response Letters - There are 2 types of letters your office will write - Form and Quick. Form Letters can be found in the Letters module. Quick letters are not stored in the Letters module, but you can easily locate them using Document Search in the Mail Module.
  4. Personalizing User Settings - Each user can save default settings throughout the program by personalizing user preferences.
  5. Creating and Editing Organizations - Organizations are similar to contacts with the added option of linking multiple contacts to the record.
  6. Setting up Saved Searches for Contacts - You can build simple or complex searches for contacts and save them for future use.
  7. Working with Personal Codes - Personal codes can be applied to contacts and organizations for easy tagging and searching. They can also be color-coded.
  8. Mass Mailing - If your office wants to reach out to a group of contacts or organizations, you can set up mass mailings in the Contacts module.
  9. Uploading a List of Contacts - If this option is enabled for your office, you can upload lists of contacts, codes, and activities via a .csv spreadsheet.
  10. Adding and Editing User Accounts (for House clients) - You can add staff accounts. You are also able to edit roles and privileges.
  11. Adding or Editing a Workflow - Workflow is a paperless letter approval utility that operates within the program. If your office uses workflow, you can add new workflow definitions and edit existing ones.
  12. Initiating a Workflow - Workflow is a paperless letter approval utility. If your office uses workflow, you have a number of options including initiating and approving workflows, receiving workflow notifications when items are assigned to you, and accessing workflow analytics.
  13. Approving Activities with Workflow - If you are responsible for approving individual correspondence activities in the Mail module using the Workflow utility, this document will walk you through that process.
  14. Approving Form Letters with Workflow - If you are responsible for approving form letters within the Letters module using the Workflow utility, this document will walk you through that process.
  15. Duplicate and Household Checks - This is a dynamic database with multiple options for adding new contacts, so it is a good idea to run regular duplicate and household checks.
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